Sunroom vs Addition: Which is Right for You?

By Published On: September 27, 20226 min read

American homeowners spent 20% more in 2021 than in 2020 on home renovation projects, and experts say that spending hasn’t slowed down.

While kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects are prevalent, some homeowners want to add extra space. Sunrooms and home additions are popular choices for those wanting to add more living space to their home.

But when it comes to a sunroom vs addition, what are the differences, and which one is actually better? Keep reading to find out.

What’s The Difference Between a Sunroom vs Addition?

Let’s explore the differences between a sunroom vs room addition in-depth to understand them better and see which is the most practical choice for your home.

What Is A Sunroom?

As the name suggests, a sunroom is a space that lets in an abundance of natural light while sheltering the area from weather conditions. Often, sunrooms also provide ample views of the property’s landscape through a window wall system, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from the comfort of your home.

While some sunrooms provide access to your outdoor space, you can also enclose them so that it’s only accessible from within the house.

There are many other names for a sunroom. Some include:

  • Florida room
  • Garden room
  • Patio Enclosure
  • Screen room
  • Solarium
  • Patio room
  • Sun parlor or porch

Sunrooms come in many different styles. However, there are two main types of sunrooms. They are:

  • Three-season sunroom
  • Four-season sunroom

Three-season rooms provide usable space for spring, summer, and fall. This is because they aren’t insulated, so in the winter, they get pretty cold, especially if you are located in a region with harsh winters.

Conversely, a four-season sunroom is insulated so that you can use it year-round. Four-season sunrooms also come with high-performance double pane glass.

While sunrooms are not required to have a central air system in them and don’t need to be connected to any ventilation system, some homeowners choose other cooling options that may include cooling units such as freestanding independent units that can be purchased from various “box” stores. These units typically do not require permitting and are non-permanent which allows the homeowner to place them wherever he/she chooses.  Supplemental heating for those occasional cool Florida days could include either an electric baseboard or an electric simulated fireplace.

What Is an Addition?

A full room addition is when you add a room to your home using traditional building materials. Sometimes this additional room is called a conventional room or “stick-built” room.

An addition to your living space often requires a foundation. Builders must first lay the foundation for your conventional or “stick-built” addition before they can build the frame and walls.

Additionally, the interior of a room addition requires:

  • Electrical access
  • Insulation
  • An HVAC system

Standard room additions that are built for liveable space are required to follow all local and state building codes that require a central air system or a separate unit that can handle the extra cubic square footage. The central air system to the room must be designed to correspond to the home’s HVAC system. The electrical system of the room addition must tie into the home’s main electrical system.

How Are Room Additions and Sunrooms Used Differently?

Since sunrooms primarily have glass walls, the natural light brings the outdoors in, allowing for maximum relaxation.

A sunroom makes for the perfect:

  • Family room
  • Hobby room
  • Playroom
  • Exercise Room
  • Game Room
  • Home Office
  • Second living room

But if you want your extra room to be a primary bedroom, consider a full room addition as it offers more of a conventional build. Of course, you can use the additional space for anything you wish.

Since you probably already have an enclosed living or family room in your home, opting for a sunroom can make your home more unique and add versatility.

Should I Get a Sunroom or an Addition?

The answer to this question depends on what your goals for the room are. Think about the level of functionality you desire and the purpose the space will serve.

Once you know how you will use the room, you can easily determine which type of room is best.

The Benefits of a Sunroom

Sunrooms have many benefits over a standard room.  Sunroom construction typically can have a lower cost per project than nearly all traditional room addition options and often takes less than 1/3 of the time for installation when compared to constructing a traditional room addition.

You can even speed up the process and cut costs further by opting for a patio enclosure or prefabricated sunroom.

These days, the building materials for sunrooms are incredibly durable. For example, high-performance glass can withstand hurricane-strength winds of up to 140 mph.

Sunrooms have an additional benefit in Tampa, FL. Since the winter doesn’t get very cold, a three-season sunroom and a four-season sunroom both can be considered options.

The Benefits of an Addition

The most significant benefit of an addition vs a sunroom is that the same building materials can be used to match the appearance of the home.

If you want to add another bedroom or primary bathroom, a room addition is an ideal choice. Plus, you can add a home addition almost anywhere in your house (as long as it meets building and city codes).

Sunroom vs Room Addition Costs

You may think that when it comes to comparing the cost of a sunroom vs a room addition, sunroom costs will always be more economical. While that is typically the case, adding a sunroom can have many features and options that can be added which can affect the overall cost.

While any construction project cost depends on the fluctuating market costs of building supplies and materials, sunrooms typically range between $25,000 to $80,000. In contrast, a new room addition can cost much more depending on the size of the addition and your personal needs.

But there are ways to lower costs if you are on a strict budget.

For example, building a three-season sunroom saves money by forgoing an HVAC system and insulation. In addition, your space will be more comfortable in the winter due to the warmth from the sun, and in summer, a ceiling fan can be used to create airflow.

Whether you opt for a sunroom or addition, employ the help of an experienced contractor to assist you with budget, design, and build.

Which Will Add More Value to Your Home?

More often than not, a room addition will add more to your home value. Sunrooms aren’t usually included in the home’s total square footage.

However, both will boost your home’s resale value if you plan to sell in the future.

Sunroom Specialists

When it comes to the differences between a sunroom vs addition, you can see that they both expand the living space of your home but have distinct uses and benefits.

If you’re considering adding a sunroom or addition to your home, contact us today at Lifestyle Remodeling for a free consultation. We’re the premier home renovation, remodeling, and sunroom construction company in Tampa. Our team will offer you high-quality yet affordable products and professional installation.

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